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Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro: Attorneys Representing Consumers Prepare for $12 Billion RICO Trial Against McKesson for Alleged Drug Price Manipulation
Date:8/29/2008

SEATTLE, Aug. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Attorneys representing consumers in a case accusing McKesson (NYSE: MCK) of illegally rigging the price of virtually every prescription drug have crossed the final procedural hurdles and are now preparing for a trial set for December 1 in U.S. District Court in Boston.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080317/AQM144LOGO)

Attorney Steve W. Berman filed the suit in 2006 on behalf of third-party payers and consumers, claiming that McKesson engaged in a scheme to fraudulently inflate the price of more than 400 prescription drugs, including blockbusters such as Prozac, Lipitor, Zocor, Vioxx and more.

On March 18, 2008, Judge Patti Saris for a second time rejected McKesson's motions to dismiss the case, citing the strength of the evidence, which includes volumes of e-mail exchanges by McKesson executives discussing the price-fixing scheme. The plaintiffs in the case peg the damages at $4 billion, which puts McKesson at risk of a $12 billion judgment with the tripling of damages allowed by the RICO statute under which the suits were filed.

RICO -- the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act -- allows for civil action against those believed to participate in conspiracies to commit crimes or illegally reap profits. The law calls for the disgorgement of ill-gotten profits and the tripling of damages.

Judge Patti Saris earlier this week dismissed a related case charging the drug giant of antitrust violations.

"We believe the antitrust laws were intended to address the sort of disingenuous behavior McKesson exhibited, but we recognize that the allegations presented a contex
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SOURCE Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro
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